Merry, Merry Christmas!! Week 23

Merry Christmas!  I hope you are enjoying your holiday season as much as I am!  It is so nice to catch up on sleep and friendships! 

I leave for Miss America is less than two weeks, and I am so so so ready!  I decided to release my Miss America Pageant program book photo by Jason Masters.  I had make-up and hair assistance from Laine Berry, and the dress is from The Royal We!  What do you think?! 

Speaking of Miss America … here is the schedule for my time in Las Vegas.  I listed events that are open to the public.  Please note that times correspond to the Las Vegas Pacific Time Zone - not Arkansas’!  Even if you can’t make it to Las Vegas, please pray for me throughout the week!! 

Thursday, January 5, 2012
4:00 PM - Planet Hollywood Arrival Ceremony and Photos
                        Ceremony is inside Planet Hollywood and open to the public.
Consultations with new MAO sponsor Express, Contestant Orientation
                        These events are closed to the public.

Friday, January 6, 2012
IHOP/CMN Breakfast and Press Event, Rehearsals, and Interviews
                        Everything is closed to the public.

Saturday, January 7, 2012
6:00 PM - Fashion Show Mall Appearance
                        Fashion show and autograph party will be open to the public.
Rehearsals and interviews
                        Closed to the public.

Sunday, January 8, 2012
Offsite filming
                        Closed to the public.

Monday, January 9, 2012
11:30 AM - 12:00 PM - My private interview with the judges sometime during this time frame!!

Rehearsal and shopping
                        All events are closed to the public.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012
9:00 AM - Contestant Rehearsal
                        Open to Miss America badge holders - no cameras. 
8:00 PM - Preliminary Show at Planet Hollywood
I compete in onstage question!           
10:00 PM - Visitation with contestants
                        Only for Miss America badge holders.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012
9:00 AM - Contestant Rehearsal
                        Open to Miss America badge holders - no cameras. 
8:00 PM - Preliminary Show at Planet Hollywood
I compete in swimsuit and evening gown!           
10:00 PM - Visitation with contestants
                        Only for Miss America badge holders.

Thursday, January 12, 2012
9:00 AM - Contestant Rehearsal
                        Open to Miss America badge holders - no cameras. 
10:00 AM - Announcement of Quality of Life Winners at MAO conference
                        Quality of Life Awards are based on contestants’ platform development.
8:00 PM - Preliminary Show at Planet Hollywood
I compete in talent!
10:00 PM - Visitation with contestants
                        Only for Miss America badge holders.

Friday, January 13, 2012
Rehearsal and Interviews
                        Closed to the public.
7:00 PM - Planet Hollywood’s/Caesar’s VIP Reception
                        Must have tickets to get into the event.

Saturday, January 14, 2012
                        Closed to the public.
5:30 PM - 2012 Miss America Final Night Show- Preshow Begins
                        Live on ABC!
8:20 PM - Visitation and Awards
                        Only for Miss America badge holders. 

Many people comment that the Miss America Pageant is a marathon.  Serving as Miss Arkansas is providing me fantastic preparation and training for it. With much gratitude to our organization, I feel ready for the marathon!  Bring it on, Las Vegas!

Now back to this week …

On Tuesday, Abby Turner hosted a Christmas party for the 2011 Miss Arkansas contestants.  About eight girls showed up … the perfect number to gather in her kitchen to bake and decorate cupcakes!  Christmas cupcakes!

We then settled for games and girl talk.  We stayed up until 3 AM!!  I haven’t stayed up that late since finals week at college!  We had so much fun laughing and sharing stories.  The girls asked me lots of questions about the Miss Arkansas job and Miss America experience.  I really appreciated their interest, even from those who will not be returning to the Miss Arkansas stage.  I got to know the girls better and greatly appreciate their encouragement and support.  I hope we have another party in the near future because it has been one of my highlights as Miss Arkansas!

Wednesday, I ran lots of errands and rested!  In line at the post office, a lady read the back of my Miss Arkansas hoodie given by sponsor, Rebekah Lane.  She said, “Miss Arkansas, Rebekah Lane …  I thought Miss Arkansas’ name was Kristen!?”  Haha!  I turned around and explained that Rebekah Lane is a sponsor and that, yes, I am Kristen Glover, Miss Arkansas.  She squealed with excitement and complimented me on a speech I gave at last week’s Arkansas Youth Challenge Graduation.  I appreciated her compliments very much and was glad that she read my hoodie! 

Friday, I participated in the Tillar Christmas parade!  My sister served as my chaperone as we traveled for the first time to Tillar, town of 200 people!  The residents of Tillar were so welcoming and excited about Christmas!  More people were in the parade than those watching!  Afterwards, we met at the firehouse for hot chocolate and fellowship.  They presented me with a beautifully carved wooden mallard, since I am a “Stuttgart girl”.  Haha … I loved spending part of my holiday season in Tillar!!

Saturday, my family and I attended the Christmas Eve candlelight service to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ!  On Christmas Day, we opened presents, went to church again, and then traveled for more Christmas fun with our extended family.  Although I received many great gifts and saw beloved family, I am most thankful for my salvation through Jesus Christ!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.                                     Isaiah 9:6

I thought my little niece needed some shades for Christmas! 

I love my wardrobe! Week 22!

Many unexpected things happened this week!   Three scheduled events unfortunately were postponed or cancelled, but that, in turn, allowed me to focus more on my remaining appearances and prepare for my wardrobe preview.  Also, Miss America made the official decision to allow a new sponsor to provide the clothing for the arrival ceremony and onstage question in Las Vegas.  Since I already had dresses for these events, I had to rework my wardrobe line-up.  It all worked out, and I am very, very excited about my wardrobe! 

Wednesday, I was the guest speaker at First Baptist Church’s Fresh Start, a weekly breakfast served to Stuttgart Junior High and High School students.  This particular Wednesday was the beginning of semester tests.  I was amazed to learn that most students didn’t even have semester tests, yet dozens of students showed up for breakfast at 7:00 a.m. anyway.  They told me that they were going home to get back in bed!  Haha, I was so impressed that they made it to breakfast and got to hear my message on 2 Corinthians 4:17-18. 

 The volunteers that make breakfast for Fresh Start every week!
 A few of the girls... so early in the morning!

Thursday, I attended a special dedication in Stuttgart.  My Paw-Paw served in public office for over 30 years and advocated for millions of dollars on Stuttgart’s behalf.  The new overpass was formally designated the “Senator Bobby Glover and Congressman Marion Berry Overpass.”.  When it was time for Paw-Paw to speak, he said, “I may have done a lot of good for Stuttgart, but I wish I could have done more.  This community has been so supportive and kind to me!”  I could not agree with Paw-Paw more! 

Friday was a wonderful day!!  Upon arrival at Camp Robinson, I was escorted to the VIP room to meet many high-ranking military officials.  We lined up, walked into a room of 1,000 friends and family members, and took a seat onstage.  As we celebrated the graduation of students enrolled in the Arkansas National Guard’s Teen Challenge Program, I could feel the pride and excitement in the room!  High school dropouts ages 16-18 can volunteer for the 22-week program that emphasizes life lessons, community service, and academic excellence.  At the end of the program, students are allowed to take the G.E.D. and begin a mentoring relationship with an adult volunteer.  Because my heart beats for “Second Chances through Mentoring,” I was extremely honored to be the public speaker for their graduation!!  Ninety-two cadets made it to graduation, and the leaders were overwhelmingly proud of those who finished the program.  I saw a few tears as I stood in line to shake the hands of the graduates and tell them, “Well deserved!” 

Saturday, I was honored to attend the Miss Pulaski preliminary pageant!  After dinner with the judges, we returned to the auditorium for a great pageant!  I was impressed with the girls competing and was thrilled when Dalia Garrison was crowned the new Miss Pulaski!  She was my roommate at Miss Arkansas in 2010 and I have considered her a sweet friend ever since!  I also practiced my Miss America dance, a performance that I have grown to love!  I can’t wait to dance in Vegas!

diva pose.  
Miss Pulaski, Dalia Garrison

Miss North Central Arkansas was held on Saturday night and I was ecstatic to hear that Hannah Billingsley won the title!  I was lucky enough to crown Hannah last year as Miss Cotton Belle 2011 and am glad to see her returning to state.  Congratulations to my beautiful, blonde friend!  

This picture is from last year's Miss Cotton Belle pageant.  

I have spent the last several months preparing for the wardrobe preview on Sunday … and I consider it a great success!!  It was a huge relief to finally have all of the wardrobe pieces together!  I will release photos of my entire wardrobe after Miss America.  I am so excited about all of my dresses and talent outfit, all of which wouldn’t be possible without the incredible Miss Arkansas clothing sponsors:
                         -Laine Berry, The Royal We in Conway
                        -Shelley Kelley, Clark’s Bridal in Jonesboro
                        -Tommy and Christy Lyons, Venue in Little Rock
                        -Gregg Frizzell, Applause in Little Rock
                        -Amanda Farmer, Bella’s Gifts in Springdale
-Stephanie Isaacs, A Formal Affair in Batesville
                        -Brandi Rushton, She Said Yes in Fayetteville
                        -Susan Farmer, Rebekah Lane in Harrison
                        -Hamp Wilson, Dillard’s of Hot Springs
                        -Shelly Arnold, Solemates in Little Rock
                        -Caroline and Lou, Pinky Punky in Little Rock                    

Thank you to Mrs. June Felix for organizing today’s preview!  Renee Fronabarger and Lacy Fleming Glover serve as my wardrobe committee and have made the entire wardrobe process easier! I appreciate Lacy for her fantastic job as emcee for the event.  Thank you to Jessie Ward Bennett and the Miss Arkansas Board Members for the dedication you give to the Miss Arkansas Organization!  Today was absolutely a day to remember and cherish forever!  Thank you to everyone who made today special! 

Miss Arkansas top 5!
Josh and I pose before the wardrobe preview begins.  I am taking this dress for visitation in Las Vegas!!

I closed the afternoon by sharing some thoughts about the Miss America Pageant.  As you can imagine, preparing for and competing in Miss America can be quite overwhelming!  However, I have memorized and internalized a verse that will keep me grounded throughout the Miss America pageant. 

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 
2 Timothy 1:7

To all of my friends, family members, and blog followers … I ask that this verse becomes your prayer for me during Miss America!  I know that your prayers are powerful.  Thank you, thank you.  

Vote! Vote! Vote!

Announcement from the Miss America Organization:  

We are excited to announce that we are bringing back the public voting element for the
2012 Miss America Pageant! The public will vote on the videos the contestants made in 
Orlando, and their votes will determine which contestant will become America's Choice 
and automatically placed in the Top 15!

So don't forget to vote!  You can do so by traveling to

There is a limit of one (1) vote per person and internet accessible device per contestant 
throughout the Voting Period, regardless of method of voting.

Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. PST on January 12, 2012.

Don't forget to watch the Miss America Pageant on ABC, January 14 as I compete for 

the crown against 52 talented, sophisticated, and accomplished young women!  

Legacy. Week 21

Legacy.  I am learning that my legacy as Miss Arkansas is not defined by this year alone.  Instead, my legacy is defined by who I was before I was crowned, what happens now, and what the future holds.   I learned this by observing former Miss Arkansas titleholders that are still making an impact, particularly in my life.  I also see many young contestants who are making a difference in the lives of others through service and character!  This is a beautiful truth, giving all of us the opportunity to intentionally form our legacy.  I hope to leave a legacy of service and mentorship! 

Monday was a wet, gloomy day.  Since the Stuttgart Christmas Parade was cancelled, I was able to make a last minute trip to Fort Smith.  I encouraged the Christian Women’s Job Corps to continue mentoring and making a difference in the lives of others!  It was hilarious when Santa walked 
in with a t-shirt that read, “Does this shirt make me look fat?”  Haha, who doesn’t love Santa?

I spent the night in Springdale, Arkansas, with the Farmer family.  When we awoke the next morning, my car was covered in snow!  Thankfully, Megan Farmer offered to drive me to She Said Yes Boutique to pick up two fabulous cocktail dresses for Miss America!  After that, we went by Bella’s and picked up more suitcases, dresses, and goodies for Miss America.  If it weren’t for the Farmer family, I don’t know if I could have survived this year! 

Wednesday, the all important announcement of who will be judging the 2012 Miss America pageant was made!  And here they are - 

Mark Ballas- Dancing With the Stars
Lara Spencer- Good Morning America and Nightline
Teri Polo- Meet the Parents
Raul De Monila- Co-Host of Univision’s #1 entertainment news show
Mike Fleiss- Creator of The Bachelor franchise
Chris Powell – Host of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition
Kris Jenner- Star, Creator, and Executive Producer of Keeping Up with the Kardashians

I like our panel of judges and can’t wait to meet them in Las Vegas!  What seems to be obvious is their common background in Reality TV. That could mean they will look for someone who is captivating, yet genuine and relatable!  I started following the judges on Twitter, but had to unfollow Raul since all of his text messages are in Spanish.  :( 

Thursday, I spent the day at the Arkansas School Board Meeting at the Peabody Hotel in Little Rock.   I was so glad that Chenal Restoration invited me to meet many of the individuals from across the state who help to plan the education of their community's youth!  Education is a top priority in Arkansas, and I am honored to serve the schools as Miss Arkansas!

Thursday evening, I traveled to Malvern, where I rode in a beautiful red Camaro convertible as Grand Marshal of their annual Christmas Parade!  As expected, Mr. Stephen Strauss met me at the beginning of the parade!  He has been a longtime friend and supporter of the Miss Arkansas Organization.  I thoroughly enjoyed the parade, although it was quite cold outside!  It was all worth it when a sweet little boy yelled from the crowd, “Hi, Miss Arkansas!"

After the parade, I attended the Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce Christmas party at the Arlington Hotel in Hot Springs!  The event was called, “Ice on Ice” since Lauray’s sponsored the event and hid four diamonds in the ice cubes.  There was a great turnout, and I had lots of fun!  I was excited to see Kelly Bales, President of the Miss Arkansas Board, and June Felix, Secretary of the Miss Arkansas Board.  

Kelly introduced me to the crowd!

Friday began with an oil change and tire check up at Allen Tillery Chevrolet in Hot Springs.  They told me that I will be getting a new car in January!  I dropped by the Miss Arkansas office and then headed to Little Rock for a workout.   My next destination was Conway to meet with the beloved Mrs. Pam.  Although it was an interview lesson, she gave me so much encouragement and confidence!

Then … the moment I had been waiting for!!  I met Tony Bowls at the Royal We in Conway to try on dresses to wear in the Miss America Pageant!  I had requested two dress designs, and he designed several more with me in mind.  He let me try on the dresses and choose which dress made me sparkle!  I am so pleased with our selection and couldn’t be more grateful for Tony’s talent!  Above all, I was totally impressed with Tony!  Even though he is an incredibly successful designer, he is a very humble man!  As I tried on each dress, he allowed me to freely discuss why I loved or disliked aspects of it.  He patiently explained fabric or design details and encouraged me to pick the one I felt most comfortable in!  Thank you, Tony, for making it an enjoyable and memorable experience!

After a wardrobe fitting session on Saturday, it was time to get ready for the Miracle Ball to benefit Arkansas Children’s Hospital.  Bill Tarkington was my host for the evening, and we sat at the table with Sharon Bale, Miss Arkansas 1967 and former Miss OBU.  It was my first time to spend time with Sharon, who is incredibly sincere and caring!  I was so inspired!  At the Miracle Ball, I was asked to wear the diamond jewelry set from the live auction!  The necklace, earrings, and bracelet combined were valued at $65,000 with a total of over 30 carats.  I was slightly nervous but extremely excited about wearing the jewelry!  Overall, it was a wonderful, wonderful night! 

Next week will be a scramble to put the final touches on my wardrobe before the wardrobe preview on Sunday, December 18.  I hope you can join us from 3:00 – 5:00 at the Hot Springs Country Club!  Also, next week, I have a few speaking appearances, dance practices, and interview lessons.  During the weekend, I will attend three preliminary pageants!  Stay tuned as we crown a new Miss North Central Arkansas and Miss Pulaski! 

"Remember me? I saw you at..." Week 20

This may be week 20 of my reign, but I think of it as week 1 of the Christmas season! I am so blessed to be a part of many Christmas events, making this holiday one to remember! I am definitely in the spirit, and it is only December 4!

On Monday, Ouachita Baptist University held a Miss Arkansas reception! It was so nice to see President Horne, Mrs. Becky, and lots of friends! Thank you to Kirt Thomas, my co-director of Miss Ouachita Baptist University, for the very kind, encouraging words! The Ouachita Sounds, an elite vocal group, performed, and Dr. Horne gave me a beautiful framed print!

When it was my turn to speak, I shared a story about having dinner with former President Dr. Elrod and his wife, Betty, at a donor’s banquet on campus during my senior year. Mrs. Betty recognized me from pictures in the newspaper and started to ask questions about the Miss Arkansas Pageant. I was not yet crowned Miss OBU, but I told them I would consider it a great honor to represent Ouachita. Dr. Elrod then gave me a full history lesson on all 9 (I am the 10th) Miss Arkansas titleholders who have graduated from Ouachita! I was so impressed with his knowledge and interest in Miss Arkansas. He was particularly fond of Beth Anne Rankin, our red-headed, sweet-spirited Miss Arkansas 1994!
If anyone has made a difference in my life, it has been Mrs. Sarah Teed! Thank you!

Kirt Thomas, me, and President Rex Horne

Tuesday, I returned to Monticello for the annual Christmas parade. After the parade, we gathered at the museum for hot cider, Santa Claus pictures, and caroling! I was especially excited to hear the Drew Central Choir since my best friend, Leslyn, is the new choir teacher. They did an excellent job!! Another highlight occurred when I was helping Santa hand out candy canes. Most children were enthralled with Santa, but one sweet little girl squealed from the line “Oh… there is Miss Arkansas!” She made me feel so special! What an honor to be noticed as I stood beside Santa!

Mrs. Helen was my driver in Monticello.
Leslyn! My college roomie!

Wednesday and Thursday consisted of wardrobe decisions, workouts, and mock interviews in preparation for Miss America! Last week, I was quite overwhelmed! Now, I have more of my wardrobe together and am encouraged after my mock interviews! I hope you can all make it to my wardrobe showing on Sunday, December 18, at the Hot Springs Country Club from 3:00-5:00. We ask that you make reservations before December 12 by sending an email to Tickets are $10.

Friday, I spoke at Lonoke Middle School. They welcomed me with great cheers and applause! It was my last school appearance before Christmas break. I am going to miss speaking in schools for a few weeks, something I believe is an incredible opportunity to share my important message of “Second Chances through Mentoring!” I then headed home for a dance lesson and met up with my parents. We then traveled to Arkadelphia to attend the Festival of Christmas, a wonderful Christmas production with special guests and Ouachita alumni, Point of Grace.

Lonoke Middle School

Saturday was a great day! That morning, I read How Full is Your Bucket? at the Chenal Elementary Book Fair. Those kiddos were so cute! I encouraged them to read and signed lots of autographs.

How full is your bucket?

That afternoon, I rode in the Little Rock parade with the nicest driver, Mr. Billy! It was a huge parade that lasted several hours. The end of the parade consisted of Governor Mike Beebe making a presentation and concluded with fireworks and lighting of the Capitol building! I especially liked the parade because of the many kids who yelled, “Remember me? I met you at…” I even saw one boy whom I met at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital! He looked so healthy and handsome! I am starting to experience the blessings from the first months as Miss Arkansas. How awesome to impact someone’s life and be remembered the next time they see me! What inspiration to continue working hard and making the most of every opportunity!

Mr. Billy! One of my favorite drivers!

Saturday night, my boyfriend escorted me to the Starlight Gala in Bryant. The dinner, dance, and silent auction benefited the Boys and Girls Club of Bryant. They asked me to wear a $3,000 diamond necklace from the silent auction. It was beautiful and accessorized my cute little black dress perfectly! We had lots of fun mingling with the Bryant crowd and enjoying the night!

Sunday was a rainy, dreary day … but that didn’t stop the motorcycle parade for Toys for Tots! I arrived at Rodney’s Cycle, a motorcycle shop in Little Rock, to attend the pre-parade rally and sign autographs. I met and greeted many Arkansas dignitaries, including Governor Mike Beebe. Also, I petted a snake! There were three pythons in the crowd! When it was time to ride, I changed into a hat and leather jacket. I had a lot of fun riding in the parade with Scott Wallace! Fortunately, he is a 6’5” man so he blocked the wind and rain quite well! We rode 7 miles to Toy Hill to deliver several presents. Toys for Tots is a program sponsored by the Marines to deliver presents to children in Arkansas. I was so impressed with this program and the celebration on Toy Hill. I even got an interview with Bob Robbins, radio announcer for KSSN country station. After getting some hot chocolate, we loaded up on the bikes to return to my car at Rodney’s Cycle. However, we didn’t take the parade route on the way home. Instead, we went 65 mph on the interstate in the rain! Since today was my first day on a motorcycle, it was quite terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time!! But we survived! I felt like a legit motorcycle chick.

Governor Mike Beebe!
Thank you, Marines!!

Scott and I were posing after surviving the bad weather! haha, so much fun!!

To give a quick update on the Miss America agenda… we received our schedule for the 10 days in Las Vegas! Closer to January, I will share information about the events that are open to the public. We were told that one contestant will be voted into the top 15 by the public. Voting for this contestant will begin on December 12. Expect the announcement of this year’s judges to be made this week, along with the announcement of a major new sponsor! Ah… so much to look forward to!

To all of my faithful readers... best of luck as you begin (or finish?) decorating and shopping for Christmas!! "It's the most wonderful time of the year..."